Richard Vincent Comerford is a Maynooth NUI graduate (BA and MA) with a PhD from Dublin University (Trinity College, 1977) on Irish politics in the mid-nineteenth century, supervised by T.W. Moody. He was appointed to the department of Modern History at Maynooth in 1977, and was professor and head of department from 1989 until 2010. From 1989 to 1992 he was dean of Arts, and from 1994 to 1997 deputy master. He was a founding member of An Foras Feasa, the Humanities research institute at NUI Maynooth.
R.V. Comerford’s research interests are gathered around the concept of political mobilisation and its multifarious bases in modern society, with particular reference to Ireland, and, for purposes of comparison, several other countries but particularly the Netherlands.
From 1984 to 1988 he was a participant in the European Science Foundation’s project ‘Governments and non-dominant minorities in Europe, 1850-1940’ that produced eight thematic volumes of essays. In 1987-88 he was Mellon research fellow at the National Center for the Humanities, North Carolina. R.V. Comerford was principal investigator for the project ‘Associational Culture in Ireland, c.1750-1940: a database’ funded by the IRCHSS (2006-09).
Since 1977 R.V. Comerford has personally supervised more than seventy successful major theses, including thirty-two PhDs. From 1988 to 2009 he directed the department’s research programme in the production of approximately 150 successful major theses. Between 2000 and 2010 he was mentor to eleven postdoctoral research fellows in the department. He has been external examiner for PhD theses at fourteen universities.